Israel election results confirm political deadlock

Jerusalem, Mar 26 (efe-epa).- The final results of Israel’s fourth election in two years released on Friday cemented the country’s political deadlock, with neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor the opposition bloc winning enough seats for a majority.

Netanyahu and his right-wing and religious alliance won 52 seats (nine short of an overall majority), and the anti-Netanyahu opposition bloc, 57.

The unaligned right-wing Yamina, with seven seats, and the Islamist Arab party Raam, with four, have become the keys to the formation of a government.

Thirteen parties will form the fragmented parliament (Knesset) from which the new government must emerge to avoid a fifth election.

Although Netanyahu needs Yamina and Raam to form a government, the opposition bloc only needs one of them to reach a majority of 61 seats of the 120 in the Knesset.

On Wednesday, the Elections Committee will officially present the results to Israeli President Reuvén Rivlin who will call the parties for consultations and then give a candidate the mandate to form an government.

They will then have 28 days to achieve this, with an additional 14 if authorized by the president. If they fail to form a government, Rivlin will be able to choose a second candidate who will have similar terms.

The poll turnout was 66.7 percent, the lowest since 2009.

Despite standing trial on charges of corruption, which he denies, Netanyahu will continue on as caretaker prime minister.

His trial has caused some loss of votes but did not prevent his Likud party from continuing to be the most popular.

The seat allocations from the Mar. 23 elections are: Likud (30), Yesh Atid (17), Shas (9), Blue and White (8), Israel Our Home (7), United Torah Judaism (7), Yamina (7), Labor Party (7), United Arab List (6), New Hope (6), Religious Zionist Party (6), Meretz (6), Raam (4). EFE-EPA


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